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Chapter: Forensic Medicine: Identification

Determining height

Determining height
A person's height can be determined with a fair degree of accuracy from the skeletal remains if at least one of the long bones is available.

Determining height

A person's height can be determined with a fair degree of accuracy from the skeletal remains if at least one of the long bones is available. After measuring the long bone the height can be estimated according to special tables which have been compiled for this purpose.

In a South African case (described by Gordon &Drennan 1948) all that remained of the long bones of a body found in a burnt-out motor car were three-quarters of the left arm bone (humerus) and about half of both thigh bones (femora). Reporting this case Gordon and Drennan illustrated these fragments (fig 4.9), and the method they used to arrive at their successful reconstruction (fig 4.10 and 4.11).




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